25 June 1998

June Grab Bag


The illustration above, for Grand Rapids Magazine's humor column is a pretty good example of the theme of this posting. A little bit of everything thrown into the mix. I don't think I've ever had the opportunity to combine UFOs, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Yanni, the Taco Bell dog and Steve Urkel into the same illustration before, and I doubt if the opportunity will ever arise again.

But that's the way things were during this crazy mixed up first full year in transition from tradional to digital mediums. I would try just about anything, if only to learn unfamiliar new techniques. I would sometimes mix various styles in the same assignment, like I did with this Cambodia map/spot art project for Cobblestone in June. (pictured above and to the right)

The illustration below was for Zillions magazine (Consumer Reports) this month, and was a 'puzzle' illustration where you had to try and match up the kids based on their school uniforms (which were all slightly different). This one combined a cartoon style for the children, but with a different technique for the brick background. (below)


Also for Cobblestone, I was asked to come up with a series of character designs for a new magazine geared towards younger children, Appleseeds. This 'apple head guy' would be used to accompany regularly running features, and sprinkled throughout the magazine whereever they needed some sort of 'brand identity'. These were used for quite some time (who knows, they might still be in use today), and I wasn't too bright in negotiating a price for them. I'm pretty sure I just got their usual assignment rates. I would do more of these little 'apple guys' the following year for the same arrangment. This was one of those assignments that got me starting to pay attention to the contracts that I've been signing without a passing glance for the previous 9 years.

Below is another assignment for the same client (different magazine). This was a three page assignment on the 'puritans', and I experimented with laying down a base color and building a scratchboard look out of those colors and overlaying watercolor over that. Interesting, but not a technique I stuck with for long, both due to the time involved and an unhappiness with how the end product looked.


The illustration below was another cartoon for Gemini Publications (Grand Rapids Magazine). Most of the assignments around this time were black and white like the drawing below, with color assignments like the one above being a rarity.